‘We need the tonic of wildness…[w]e can never have enough of nature.’ Written around 170 years ago, these words appear in Henry David Thoreau’s account of a two-year experiment of living in and off nature. Walden; or a Life in the Woods is a classic text in Western nature writing. Thoreau’s narrative of life beside a secluded lake underpinned the central belief of Transcendentalism: that immersion in nature is a deeply spiritual, enriching and sustaining experience.
Yet Thoreau’s discovery was nothing new, for this is a wisdom that the First Nations peoples of the world have always lived and understood. The wisdom of reciprocity: we care for nature and nature cares for us. Indeed, with this approach, nature can never be considered ‘other’ or separate, but something to which we all belong.
But perhaps the pressures of modern life don’t always allow time for us to respect and practise our individual and collective versions of this wisdom, this essential health-giving and life-giving closeness and connection with the natural world. Sometimes we need to nurture our connection as an intentional act. So at Koala Eco, we’ve been asking, how do people actually do this?
Welcome to Minding Nature, where we talk to people whom we’ve encountered on our Koala Eco journey: people we believe genuinely live and breathe a nature-focused lifestyle. People who prioritise their connection to nature because it brings healing, beauty, peace, and meaning to their lives. These are their practices and experiences. Perhaps they can inspire some of ours, too.